A local western Japanese news radio program featuring a virtual presenter has begun a month-long test run.

The program, which converts a news script into an audio broadcast, was developed by electronics maker Sony Corp. and Kyodo News Digital Co.

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News stories and weather forecasts are being delivered by a female-voiced virtual newsreader named Midori Sawamura. While only a voice on radio, she appears as a computer-generated animated character on screen.

The trial run is taking place on a weekly radio program "Radio Monster!" by Nankai Broadcasting Co. based in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.

A demonstration of the same newsreader system was carried out in March on a Shizuoka Broadcasting System television program broadcast in central Japan.

virtual2(Supplied image)